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Write something everyday...

I stole this idea from a guy I recently met named Nick Feitel. I've also been trying to be more consistent and share thoughts on here that are helpful for actors.

Today's thought is: Just say yes.

I took a class a couple of years ago, probably about 5 or 6 now, called The Next Step. I'm probably forgetting a lot of details about the class, but at the end of 6 or maybe it was 8 weeks, you get personal feedback from the casting directors. All of them shared this feedback of just saying yes. To paraphrase: Don't say that you can't do something, and just do it.

That sounds really simple, but I think it changed a lot for me. As an experiment, I took it to heart and decided that whatever someone presented me with - I said yes to and just did it as if though I'd been doing it forever. At the time, I was working mostly in musicals, doing some straight play work here and there, and dabbled a very little bit in commercials.

With that feedback - I began going to auditions that I might have previously turned down because I didn't think I had the skill. I also started to showcase skill, even if it wasn't up to my level of perfect. One example was voiceovers. I had done a couple here and there, but they were always in my own voice. Regular commercial copy or doing something in a Filipino accent or Spanish accent. One day, I was presented with the challenge of doing cartoon voiceovers. I hadn't ever done them professionally, but I had been practicing them my whole life - voicing babies, dogs, anything cute I saw on the street. So in an audition room - a casting director asked if I did cartoon voices, and I displayed a couple with utter confidence. That led to me booking a cartoon voiceover gig 4 years ago, that I still do to this day - originating voices for animated story books and cartoons.

And that came from that little reminder: Just say yes. I think previously I would have made some excuses, said I'm not that good, and then maybe done 2-3 voices, then apologize. SO LAME, right? But that reminder of Just say yes - compelled me to be confident, unapologetic, give an example of what I can do, and then let the cards fall where they may.

That same idea of just saying yes also helped me expand what I do now - I was asked to assist a director and then eventually asked to be an associate director/choreographer and eventually direct a musical on my own. All things that previously terrified me and I would normally say no to - but this idea of just saying yes lives in the back of my head now and allows me to just move forward on things, even if it's possible I will fail.

I would say from that mind shift, I gained cartoon voiceover work, hosting work, directing work and work doing sketch comedy musicals. All from saying yes.

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Veronica Reyes-How

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